Bitcoin is on the Rise in Romania

Demand for bitcoin is growing in Europe’s 12th largest country and so is its bitcoin ecosystem. According to data collected by Coin Dance, trading volumes at peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins have increased substantially in Romania in the last 18 months.

LocalBitcoins, however, is not the only bitcoin exchange that has witnessed a surge in demand. Local Romanian digital currency exchange CoinFlux has recently announced that $23.8 million (100 million RON) worth of digital currency has been traded on its exchange since the company’s inception in December 2015.

CoinFlux was founded by former fund manager Vlad Nistor. It enables Romanians to buy and sell bitcoin, ether, litecoin and ethereum classic for the Romanian leu and the euro. While several altcoins are on offer, most of CoinFlux’s trading volumes are centered around bitcoin and ether.

“Most of our transactions in the last quarter involved bitcoin (89 percent), but we have witnessed an increase in interest in other currencies, especially ether,” Nistor stated.

Looking forward, Nistor told Bitcoin Magazine: “Until now, we have been focused on our core market in Romania. We have joined one of the best accelerator programmes in Romania, MVP Academy, with the aim of receiving support as we develop our strategy to expand our services into other European Union countries.”

Nistor said that the current stance of Romania’s regulators toward bitcoin and digital currencies is one of caution. “The Romanian National Bank is reserved about bitcoin, as is the European Central Bank. I think this is the reasonable position to take as the only monetary issuing authority in the country. They’ve issued several statements warning users about digital currencies, also stating that they will not permit risky products that could undermine consumer protection or the banking sector.”

As the demand for bitcoin is growing in Romania, so is the country’s bitcoin ecosystem. On March 24, 2017, Bitcoin Romania, a bitcoin exchange and bitcoin ATM network operator, announced that it is partnering with local money transfer operator Smith Smith to offer bitcoin purchases at 70 physical locations throughout the country. The new service will allow bitcoin users to deposit or withdraw cash in exchange for bitcoins without needing to attach their bank accounts to Bitcoin Romania’s online trading platform.

“Ever since we launched, we wanted to make bitcoin trading easy, both in term of processing time and in terms of proximity to customers,” said George Rotariu, CEO of Bitcoin Romania. “We are happy that we can improve our online platform services and, besides existing options like instant bank transfers and our country-wide ATMs and terminals network, we added instant cash and withdrawals through our partners Smith Smith. We are counting on the experience and safety offered by Smith Smith and we are sure that this collaboration will be successful both for us and especially for our customers.”

“The locations of Smith Smith agencies make it possible for all the users from all over the country to successfully finalize their trading actions. Given the fact that these agencies are located in over 60 towns, we offer our customers the possibility to easily [access] one of these locations.”

As Romania’s tech startup scene is growing, so are its entrepreneurs’ activities in the Bitcoin space. Aside from Bitcoin Romania and CoinFlux, other notable startups that are working on bringing bitcoin to Romania include mobile bitcoin wallet Coinfetti and bitcoin exchanges BitcoinxRomania and BtcXchange.

Article source: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitcoin-rise-romania/

Where to, Bitcoin? Traders Offer Mixed Opinions on Market Direction

The path forward for bitcoin prices isn’t clear, market analysts say.

While some described the market to CoinDesk as bearish overall, other observers offered a more optimistic stance about the prospects for future price developments. Their input comes as bitcoin prices have largely traded rangebound in the last few days, fluctuating between $1,010 and $1,060, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

While bitcoin prices reached an all-time high of more than $1,300 earlier this month in the lead up to the US Securities and Exchange Commission ruling on the bitcoin ETF proposed by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss twins, they have fallen since. Interestingly enough, bitcoin prices were little changed when the SEC shot down a bitcoin ETF proposed by SolidX.

Others highlighted that sentiment has, for better or worse, changed in recent days. Much of the attention seems to have squared on the prospects of a possible bitcoin hard fork – and the resulting tension that has taken hold.

“The market has seen a switch in sentiment from hope of ETF approval to the ugliness of internal fighting,” said Charles Hayter, founder and CEO of CryptoCompare.

Fork blues?

Some analysts pointed to this ongoing dilemma when providing their overall bearish views of the market. One lingering concern is that a fork could drive down prices sharply, prompting some to hedge their bets ahead of any possible disruption.

According to Jacob Eliosoff, a cryptocurrency fund manager, the situation is becoming a key driver of that bearishness.

He told CoinDesk:

“Bitcoin is a very fundamental market right now: the price is going down because the dev project is imploding in near civil war.”

Not all agreed with this assessment, however. OTC trader Harry Yeh struck a more practical outlook, arguing that bitcoin’s upside has been limited as a result.

“We see this as being priced in now and don’t foresee major prices moves past $1,200 in the near term,” he said.

Tim Enneking, chairman of Crypto Asset Management, offered similar sentiment, telling CoinDesk that “hard fork concerns are capping upward movement”. However, he also emphasized that “solid BTC fundamentals, interest and growth potential” were creating a floor for prices.

While Enneking offered a moderate assessment of the situation, a handful of analysts insisted that bitcoin’s long-term trend was bullish. Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of leveraged bitcoin trading platform BitMEX, stated that the digital currency’s recent pullbacks in price represent a “healthy correction”.

“The additional uncertainty surrounding the potential hard fork also acts as a price dampener,” he added.

Image via Shutterstock

marketsPrices

Article source: http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-traders-split-market-direction/

Ubuntu leads Rhodes to second Plater Medallion

Community service on a global scale

To fulfil her study-abroad requirement as an international studies major, Rhodes chose Denmark, an often-overlooked Scandinavian country when it comes to choosing academic destinations. She took two classes overseas — one on sustainability and the other on international business.

“That’s where I learned about corporate social responsibility,” she said.

Corporate social responsibility, or how business practices can benefit society, is now a focus of Rhodes’ studies. She interned in the field last summer and is considering a doctoral degree down the road. But that’s hardly the only lesson she came back with when she returned to Indianapolis.

“I learned so much, and it’s not even the classroom learning; it was more the cultural learning. Scandinavia as a whole is just so different. For example, their society doesn’t have the same fears that American society does. They don’t worry about killers and the fact that people kill. They have rehabilitation in their prisons. There’s no such thing as a life sentence. You get the max, they rehabilitate you and then you’re back out into society.

“People will just leave their kids. Going to the grocery story, women would leave their kids in the strollers on the street while they went in and grocery shopped. Kids — I mean kids, first-graders, kindergarteners maybe — were on the public transportation going to school. They just don’t have this fear,” said a still-astounded Rhodes.

“They’re so healthy. There are bikes everywhere. When they get their award year after year of being the happiest place on earth, I can understand it.”

Denmark is routinely voted tops among the world’s nations on the “happiness index.”

Fast forward to May 2015, and Rhodes was overseas again, this time in Uganda for an 11-week internship through SPEA in Bloomington. Her work in the African nation focused on sustainable international development with a nongovernmental organization and homestay. While her time in City Year put her in middle schools where she found a “love for seventh-grade girls” (something “no one in the world will admit to”), Rhodes worked with primary schools in Uganda. Her time in the African nation gave her experience working on sustainable international development with a nongovernmental organization as well as the opportunity to live with a family.

“The whole point is that you’re supposed to implement things in the summer sustainable projects,” she said. “You do community development, asset mapping, the type of stuff where you’re really bringing the community into it. The last thing they want you to do is go into a community and decide what they need. It’s the opposite. It should really be that the community tells you what they need, and then you assist in meeting that need.”

Of Rhodes’ four projects that summer, two are still running. And one of those truly stems from the community driving the efforts for what it needed most.

Uganda suffers from a high rate of lightning strikes, a problem in that most buildings are not constructed to withstand that kind of voltage. The Ugandan government passed a law requiring schools to have conductors, but financial support to make that happen was not provided. That’s where Rhodes’ project came in.

“We learned how to create our own, like a homemade conductor for the school. We got a nonprofit to come and teach us how to make one. The whole point was to teach the teachers how to make them and then go to other schools to make them for other schools. So one, they would be helping other schools, and two, they’d be making a profit for their own school that they could funnel into school activities. They’ve made at least two conductors for two other schools. So it’s really exciting that they’ve learned it and that they’re trying to teach other people a skill.”

Article source: https://news.iu.edu/stories/2017/03/iupui/28-intelligence-taylor-rhodes-plater-medallion.html

Bitcoin Unlimited Miners May Be Preparing a 51% Attack on Bitcoin

Although it is hard to say how big the chance actually is, Bitcoin Unlimited miners may soon start mining bigger blocks. If they do, they will diverge from the current Bitcoin protocol to split off to a new blockchain. This could also result in two separate currencies, by many exchanges referred to as “BTC” and “BTU.”

However, it increasingly seems that not everyone in favor of a Bitcoin Unlimited hard fork wants to settle for a coin-split. Instead, several prominent Bitcoin Unlimited proponents have indicated that it may be better to ensure only their chain survives. This is probably also the only chance it has to be widely considered the “real” Bitcoin rather than a “spinoff altcoin.”

To ensure that only one chain survives, they have suggested that the (original) Bitcoin blockchain can be made unusable. That way it would die off and only the Bitcoin Unlimited chain would remain.

Specifically, if miners favorable toward Bitcoin Unlimited are able to overpower the remaining Bitcoin miners with a majority of hashrate, it’s been suggested they could launch a 51% attack.

Here is a brief overview.

Former Bitcoin Lead Developer Gavin Andresen

Gavin Andresen is the former lead developer of Bitcoin Core (then called Bitcoin-QT or simply “Bitcoin”). He has since contributed to Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Classic. He now endorses Bitcoin Unlimited — though he does not contribute to the project nor is he a member.

Although Andresen has in the past argued that a “minority chain” would be unlikely to sustain itself, he now acknowledges such a chain could, in fact, survive. As such, he noted on Twitter last February that “preventing a minority-hashrate fork from confirming any transactions is a good idea.”

More recently, on Reddit, Andresen elaborated on what the most effective way to attack the original Bitcoin chain would be. The former lead developer wrote:

“It would be even more destructive to mine an 11-block-long empty chain, then wait until the slow chain gets 9 blocks until announcing it to the network. Or keep them guessing; choose a chain length at random, from 1 to some secret N, and orphan that many blocks at a time. Allow a couple normal blocks, then do it again.

“It would be impossible for exchanges to know how many confirmations were safe for deposits and would be a nightmare for their withdrawal accounting.”

Additionally, he said he wasn’t sure whether such an attack would be immoral or not.

“I’m not even sure this kind of thing should be considered immoral — majority hashpower acting selfishly for their own economic benefit (both short and long term) is the basic incentive structure that makes Bitcoin work.”

And last weekend, Andresen on Twitter further distanced himself from a moral endorsement of such an attack. Instead, echoing comments he made on Reddit, Andresen claimed to have merely been exercising adversarial thinking.

Though he did add that an attack is very likely to happen.

BTC.TOP Pool Operator Jiang Zhuoer

BTC.TOP is a relatively new Chinese mining pool. Launched in late 2016, the pool currently controls some 5 percent of hash power on the Bitcoin network.

BTC.TOP is operated by Jiang Zhuoer, a former employee at China Mobile in Shanghai. Much like several other small mining pools that have appeared over the past six months, BTC.TOP has been signaling support for Bitcoin Unlimited.

In an interview with Cryptocoins News in March, Zhuoer was the first who explicitly said a 51% attack against the original Bitcoin blockchain, if it were to survive after Bitcoin Unlimited miners split off, is on the table.

“We have prepared $100 million USD to kill the small fork of CoreCoin, no matter what [proof-of-work] algorithm, sha256 or scrypt or X11 or any other GPU algorithm,” he said, of course referring to the continuation of the current Bitcoin protocol as “CoreCoin.”

The different hash algorithms mentioned by Zhuoer refer to a potential proof-of-work algorithm change Bitcoin users could deploy if the chain is attacked; a “nuclear” defense some Bitcoin Core developers have suggested may be proposed in such a scenario. (Whether this should still be considered “Bitcoin” or yet another spinoff altcoin is subject to different debate.)

“Show me your money,” Zhuoer added. “We very much welcome a CoreCoin change to [proof of stake].”

(If no proof-of-work algorithm succeeds in deterring the attack, a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm — where coin holders rather than miners vote on the longest chain — may be an alternative solution. But since this is unproven and perhaps insecure, this seems highly unlikely.)

Bitcoin Unlimited Chief Scientist Peter Rizun

Peter Rizun (better known as “Peter R”) refers to himself as the chief scientist of Bitcoin Unlimited, and has been one of the driving forces as the project’s secretary.

Last week, Rizun, along with bitcoin.com business developer Jake Smith, visited the offices of Coinbase and BitPay to promote Bitcoin Unlimited. Coming back from these visits, Rizun published a blog post on Medium. The message Rizun said he had gotten from these companies is that a hard fork to larger blocks should be “decisive and absolute.”

Rizun described three levels of “anti-split protection” that could accomplish this. The first is an explanation of how mining would probably be unprofitable on the original Bitcoin chain — decreasing the odds of the chain surviving in the first place.

The second level, however, is a type of 51% attack on a minority of miners. Once a majority of hash power signals support for Bitcoin Unlimited, Rizun wrote, the majority could reject (“orphan”) any blocks that do not signal this support.

“Miners will orphan the blocks of non-compliant miners prior to the first larger block to serve as a reminder to upgrade. Simply due to the possibility of having blocks orphaned, all miners would be motivated to begin signaling for larger blocks once support definitively passes 51%. If some miners hold out (e.g., they may not be paying attention regarding the upgrade), then they will begin to pay attention after losing approximately $15,000 of revenue due to an orphaned block.”

(It should be noted that this attack can be trivially subverted. Especially now that the attack is known, miners can, and probably will, signal fake support. Indeed, at least one small pool has literally “signaled support” with a poop emoticon.)

If the original Bitcoin blockchain survives even after these two levels, Rizun explained that a subset of miners in favor of Bitcoin Unlimited could disrupt this chain by exclusively producing empty blocks on the original chain. This would prevent any and all transactions from confirming as long as the attack is ongoing.

“To address the risk of coins being spent on this chain (replay risk), majority miners will deploy hash power as needed to ensure the minority chain includes only empty blocks after the forking point.”

And in line with the strategy described by Gavin Andresen:

“This can easily be accomplished if the majority miners maintain a secret chain of empty blocks  —  built off their last empty block  —  publishing only as much of this chain as necessary to orphan any non-empty blocks produced on the minority chain.”

(This attack can be waited out until the attacker’s funds run out, and perhaps dismantled altogether. Discussion on potential strategies is ongoing on the Bitcoin-development mailing list. And of course, there is the potential of a proof-of-work algorithm change.)

While noting that he doesn’t necessarily endorse the strategy, Rizun predicted that a coin-split would be avoided in this way: a “safe upgrade procedure,” he later noted on Reddit.

Rizun also submitted his ideas to the Bitcoin-development mailing list. (Where it was, unsurprisingly, forcefully dismissed.)

Bitmain Co-CEO Jihan Wu

Jihan Wu is the co-CEO of Chinese ASIC-hardware producer Bitmain. AntPool is Bitmain’s mining pool, and BTC.com, another mining pool, is a subsidiary of Bitmain.

Wu is a vocal proponent of Bitcoin Unlimited as well, and announced to Bloomberg that he would switch the hash power in his pool to Bitcoin Unlimited in anticipation of a hard fork — which he has since indeed done. (Though, notably, BTC.com has not.)

And in an interview with Forbes, Wu said he wouldn’t rule out attacking the Bitcoin blockchain, or, “undermining Core” as it is described in the article.

“It may not be necessary to attack it,” he said. “But to attack it is always an option.”

Thanks to Libbitcoin lead developer Eric Voskuil for feedback.

Article source: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitcoin-unlimited-miners-may-be-preparing-51-attack-bitcoin/

Studying .BRAND New gTLDs

Many participants in the latest ICANN meeting in Copenhagen asked that same question: “when is the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program?”. If the question came from new gTLD service providers, I also noticed that it was different from “the first round”: now the question focuses more on .BRANDs rather than Generic TLDs dedicated to selling domain names. The question also comes more from representatives of certain Trademarks who want to acquire a .BRAND domain name extension.

When is the next round?

There have been dozens of publications with that same title and no answer inside. I recently read a publication saying that it could be between 2020 and 2025. I also asked the question publicly at the latest ICANN meeting in Copenhagen and was told that the answer would remain the same as when previously asked in other ICANN forum sessions; no one knows, and the reason is simple: a few things like “singular and plural domain name extensions” must be fixed for the next round.

A “date” is not the only question anymore

Now more Trademarks have started to use their domain name extension. The Dot Brand Observatory has published a certain number of case studies which answer the second most important question for Trademarks willing to apply for their personalized TLD: what to do with a .BRAND new gTLD?

Trademarks such as SEAT, FAGE, LECLERC, BNPPARIBAS, SENER, JCB, CITIC GROUP, BRADESCO, DNP and BARCLAYS do the show in published case studies and more will be added.

“Leclerc” for example, is a French supermarket and hypermarket chain. The 26 pages study says that it is developing its .brand TLD in a progressive and consistent approach: second level domains correspond to product categories, keywords or specialized stores. An example of a live website is www.sport.leclerc.

“Bradesco”, a financial company from Brazil, has 114 domain name registered. Note that this is a lot for a .BRAND applicant since none of these domain names are sold: they belong to the registry (Bradesco here) who pays to renew them, unlike a generic registry who has registrants to buy them from registrars. Bradesco uses its personalized domains but also uses a “redirect” strategy. 45 domain names are redirected: 9 of them to the main welcome page and the 36 others are pointing to relevant correspond pages (consorcios.bradesco redirects to www.bradesco.com.br/html/classic/produtosservicos/consorcios/index.shtm).

“Usage is key”

If the initial speech on .BRAND new gTLDs has long been negative due to the incredibly high cost to submit ICANN an application, “.brand” new gTLD registration volumes now clearly show that applicants want to activate the full potential of their domain name extension.

If registration volumes are a nebulous indicator in regard to generic gTLDs dedicated to selling domain names, they are a good indicator that .BRAND new gTLDs are deploying since a .BRAND applicant has no reason to activate domain names just to say: “hey: my registry has thousands of live domains registered”. A .BRAND applicant does not need to attract customers to buy its domain names since it does not sell them.

When digging in the Dot Brand Observatory websites, there is a page dedicated to “Volume of domains”: MMA, Audi, NRA and Abbott are applicants to be using more than 100 “.brand” domain names: this is not what we call a defensive strategy which consists in acquiring a .BRAND domain name extension for the sole purpose of securing the Trademark’s assets.

This is real usage.

By Jean Guillon, New generic Top-Level Domains’ specialist. More blog posts from Jean Guillon can also be read here.

Related topics: Top-Level Domains

Article source: http://www.circleid.com/posts/20170329_studying_brand_new_gtlds/

US SEC denies a second application to list bitcoin product

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Denarium Bitcoins.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday denied for the second time this month a request to bring to market a first-of-its-kind product tracking bitcoin, the digital currency.

The SEC announced in a filing its decision denying Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s NYSE Arca exchange the ability to list and trade the SolidX Bitcoin Trust, an exchange-traded product (ETP) that would trade like a stock and track the digital asset’s price. Previously, the regulatory agency said it had concerns with a similar proposal by investors Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss.

“The Commission believes that the significant markets for bitcoin are unregulated,” the SEC said in its filing, echoing language from its decision earlier this month on the application by CBOE’s Bats exchange to list The Bitcoin ETF proposed by the Winklevoss brothers. On Friday, Bats asked the SEC to review its decision not to allow that fund to trade.

“We are reviewing the SEC’s order and evaluating our next steps,” said Daniel H. Gallancy, chief executive officer of SolidX Partners, a U.S. technology company that provides blockchain services. NYSE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bitcoin had scaled to a record of more than $1,300 this month, higher than the price of an ounce of gold, as investors speculated that an ETF holding the digital currency could woo more people into buying the asset.

But after denial of the Winklevoss-proposed ETF, the digital currency’s price plunged as much as 18 percent. It has rebounded partially since then and was at $1,041 on Tuesday, roughly unchanged from the previous day.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be used to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity, without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government.

Yet bitcoin presents a new set of risks to investors given its limited adoption, a number of massive cybersecurity breaches affecting bitcoin owners and the lack of consistent treatment of the assets by governments.

There is one remaining bitcoin ETP proposal awaiting a verdict from the SEC. Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin Investment Trust, backed by early bitcoin advocate Barry Silbert and his Digital Currency Group, filed an application last year.

Imminent launch of .africa – ITWeb Africa

Imminent launch of .africa



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Imminent launch of .africa

It’s all systems go for the .africa generic top-level domain (gTLD) to officially become available, after an almost four-year battle over who has the rights to operate as the domain’s official registry.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved ZA Central Registry’s (ZACR’s) launch plan and dates for .africa, with the process kicking off next week.

“Final and confirmed,” is how ZACR CEO Lucky Masilela describes the launch dates − as his company prepares to finally begin work as the .africa administrator.

ICANN confirming the dates has triggered a final countdown process starting on 4 April that will take .africa to general availability on 4 July when the public can apply for .africa domain names.

“This is when the gates to the most desirable African real estate in cyberspace will be thrown open,” says Masilela. “The delegation of dotAfrica to ZACR has ensured the online economic journey of the continent will finally be realised.”

The confirmation of the .africa launch dates follows the delegation by ICANN of the rights to administer the new, pan-African gTLD to ZACR on 15 February.

But it’s been a long road to get here − after an almost four-year legal battle with rival company, Mauritius-based DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Trust, to stop the delegation of .africa to ZACR.

Long time coming

The battle for who gets to be the official registry operator for .africa has been raging since 2013. DCA’s application to be the official registry was originally rejected in June 2013. ZACR then signed a registry operator agreement with ICANN in March 2014.

In May 2014, an independent review process (IRP) suspended any further processing of any application for .africa, pending a review. In July 2015, the IRP ruled ICANN violated its bylaws during its handling of DCA’s bid for .africa. This effectively ‘unrejected’ DCA’s application and forced ICANN to put the DotConnectAfrica application back into the evaluation process.

ICANN’s Geographic Names Panel then resumed its evaluation of DCA’s application to operate .africa but in March 2016 ultimately found through its extended evaluation that DCA did not satisfy the necessary criteria to pass the review and its application was “ineligible for any further review”. ZACR was then officially given the go-ahead by ICANN to begin operating as the .africa domain’s official registry.

However, a California court in April 2016 granted a preliminary injunction in favour of DCA which froze the process once again. But in June 2016, the US court granted the ZACR’s motion to dismiss all claims against it by DCA. In February 2017, a Los Angeles court denied DCA’s request for another injunction to prevent ICANN from delegating the .africa gTLD and the rights to administer the gTLD were delegated to ZACR on 15 February 2017.

Path forward

The domain will now be launched in three phases: sunrise, landrush and general availability. The sunrise phase will run from 4 April to 3 June, and will allow trademark-holders and other intellectual property (IP) rights-holders to apply for .africa domain names associated with their IP.

The landrush phase where anyone can apply for premium .africa domain names, with auctions likely featuring here, has been confirmed for June. General availability, commencing on 4 July, will see members of the public registering their own .africa domain names for the first time.

“We are extremely grateful to the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African public for their unwavering support throughout the long journey to launch dotAfrica. It began as far back as the OR Tambo and Abuja Declarations where it was resolved to use ICT to ensure the development of Africa. It is now time to create the next chapter in the dotAfrica story as we focus firmly on making general availability a reality in July,” Masilela adds.

The AUC has many times spoken of the importance of .africa as a vehicle for African socio-cultural activities in the digital era that will allow the continent to contribute to the global digital economy. Masilela says the entire continent can now be united together as one Internet community − enabling e-commerce, technology and infrastructure to flourish under a single African umbrella.

Not without a fight

However, DCA CEO Sophia Bekele is not giving up without a fight. She told CIO East Africa earlier this month that DCA’s legal battle with ICANN is not yet over and she believes it would be possible to re-delegate the .africa string in future.

“The actual merits of the case have to be decided after a proper jury trial. There are many legal processes and procedures that are still pending and yet to be completed. The ruling on the preliminary injunction would only allow ICANN to go ahead to delegate the string to ZACR − but should DCA Trust prevail at trial, the .africa string will be re-delegated to us,” she told the publication.

Bekele said DCA intends to go as far as legally possible, using available judicial processes within the US legal system, to gain access to .africa.

“I remain optimistic that this wrongful delegation that has been made by ICANN to ZACR will be overturned at the end, and the .africa string re-delegated to DCA Trust,” she said.

ALSO ON ITWEB AFRICA

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While WEF praises country for efforts to increase access to the Net, CIPESA has previously criticised UCC for internet shutdowns.

Imminent launch of .africa
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The launch dates for the embattled .africa domain are “final and approved”, says ZACR.

Article source: http://www.itwebafrica.com/ict-and-governance/523-africa/237624-imminent-launch-of-africa

Bitcoin: ‘Blood Diamonds’ Of The Digital Era – Forbes

Bitcoin has long been the transaction currency of choice for drug dealers and extortionists, but this month, the IRS has upped the game. Just as tax evasion finally took down Al Capone, now the IRS is looking for tax evaders and other tax cheats who have been using Bitcoin in an attempt to hide their tracks.

The IRS recently subpoenaed customer records from Coinbase, a leading Bitcoin exchange. However, the subpoena is but the latest skirmish in a years-long war against criminals who have been leveraging Bitcoin for a wide variety of nefarious purposes.

The specifics of the IRS subpoena, however, make one thing clear: the majority of Americans who trade in Bitcoin are likely breaking the law.

Coupled with Bitcoin’s popularity among ransomware extortionists and all manner of other cybercriminals, we must now face a chilling realization: the underlying value of Bitcoin really has little if nothing to do with its artificial scarcity or popularity as a medium of speculation.

On the contrary – the only reason Bitcoin has value to anyone is because of the underlying value as a medium of exchange for lawbreakers. If we could flip a switch and eliminate all illegal uses of Bitcoin, there would be nothing left of the cybercurrency.

Zach Copley

Bitcoin: Strength in Numbers

The ‘John Doe’ Summons

The most recent order from the IRS to Coinbase is a ‘John Doe’ summons, which means that the IRS isn’t naming any particular Coinbase customers, but is rather issuing a blanket request for information about a large number of individuals – even though the IRS may not have any suspicions about all of them.

In response, Coinbase says that while it has a policy of complying with all legal orders (of which this is one), it believes this one overreaches, and is thus fighting it in court. “Suffice to say, we feel the IRS’s subpoena is overly broad and incorrectly implies that all users of virtual currency are evading taxes,” writes Coinbase Cofounder and CEO Brian Armstrong in a blog post. “Asking for detailed transaction information on so many people, simply for using digital currency, is a violation of their privacy, and is not the best way for us to accomplish our mutual objective.

The IRS, however, is on firm ground with the John Doe summons. “The IRS uses John Doe summonses to obtain information about possible violations of internal revenue laws by individuals whose identities are unknown,” the agency says. “The IRS not only has a suspicion that the John Doe class includes U.S. taxpayers who are not complying with the law – it knows that the class in the past included such violators, and very likely includes others,” it continues.

Such noncompliance, in fact, may not always be intentional. It’s likely many Bitcoin enthusiasts are inadvertently running afoul of IRS’s guidance that Bitcoin is property, not currency. As a result, every Bitcoin interaction is potentially taxable individually, leading to a paperwork headache for active Bitcoin traders.

Be that as it may, the IRS has reason to suspect virtually all Bitcoin traders have fallen into this trap. According to the IRS, it “searched the MTRDB [Modernized Tax Return Database] for Form 8949 data for tax years 2013 through 2015.” Form 8949 is the one that Bitcoin traders must use to report their activity. “Those results reflect that in 2013, 807 individuals reported a transaction.” Furthermore, the number for 2014 is 893 and for 2015, it dropped to 802 individuals.

Given the number of US citizens to conducted at least one Bitcoin transaction in 2015 probably numbers in the tens or hundreds of thousands, 802 is a mere drop in the bucket. The IRS is quite justified in presuming, therefore, that the vast majority of American Bitcoin traders are breaking the law.

Rationalization to the Rescue?

Armstrong’s exhortation that the IRS summons implies that all users of virtual currency are evading taxes is thus an overstatement. More worrisome, however, is his opinion that taking a legal action to enforce tax law is a violation of privacy.

The blogosphere, in fact, is rife with related rationalizations. The most extreme Libertarian proponents of Bitcoin are against taxes and the IRS in general, and even for those individuals who allow for the necessity of taxation, many believe that they are justified in using Bitcoin to evade more onerous legal constraints like the ‘Bitcoin is property’ guidance.

Another fallacious line of reasoning: the IRS is overstepping because they’re looking for a needle in a haystack. “It amounts to nothing more than asking for large amounts of hay in the hope they might find a needle,” opines Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association, a trade group whose members include Coinbase as well as companies like , , and .

Such arguments, however, do not sway the IRS. “The IRS not only has a suspicion that the John Doe class includes U.S. taxpayers who are not complying with the law,” the agency says. “It knows that the class in the past included such violators, and very likely includes others.”

Charles Stross, popular author and blogger, summed up the situation nicely. “Bitcoin is pretty much designed for tax evasion,” he quips.

Tax Evasion Merely the Nail in Bitcoin’s Coffin

Running afoul of the IRS, however, is merely the focus of the latest news. The fact remains that Bitcoin is enormously popular for all manner of criminal enterprises, from illegal drug dealing to extortion cons.

The most popular con, in fact, is ransomware. The US Justice department reports that ransomware attacks quadrupled in 2016 to an average of 4,000 per day, with extortion amounts ballooning to $209 million for the first quarter of 2016 as compared to $24 million for all of 2015.

While there is broad agreement that most of today’s ransomware extortionists demand payment in Bitcoin, there remains disagreement as to whether Bitcoin is the primary cause of the rapid growth in ransomware attacks.

Is Bitcoin in fact tied to the growth of ransomware? “It’s helping. I think that’s definitely true,” says David Emm, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab. “The existence of effectively anonymised payment mechanisms definitely plays into the hands of cybercriminals.”

Maya Horowitz, Threat Intelligence Group Manager at Technologies agrees. “It makes it much easier to avoid law enforcement,” she says.

And while it’s true that Bitcoin is not fully anonymous, many criminals are simply using a Bitcoin-based money laundering operation known as a ‘mixing service.’ “If you want your money in one wallet but you don’t want anyone to be able to trace it back and know how you got it, then you take it though a mixing service – like money laundering – and then it all eventually gets back to you after being mixed with other money,” Horowitz says. “It’s pretty standard for Bitcoin.”

Cue the Rationalization Again

Once again, however, there are a number of voices seeking to diminish the connection between Bitcoin and ransomware – or criminal enterprise in general.

One argument: if it weren’t for Bitcoin, bad guys would simply use something else. “The reality is cybercriminals will always use what is available to them,” explains Greg Day, VP and CSO, EMEA at Palo Alto Networks. “In many ways they’re inherently lazy, so if Bitcoin wasn’t there they’d find a different process to channel funds through.”

Another argument: paper currency is just as bad, so why all the fuss about Bitcoin? “The U.S. government should find it awkward to regulate bitcoin on the grounds that it facilitates illegal transactions,” opines William J. Luther, Assistant Professor of Economics at Kenyon College and an adjunct scholar at the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank. “Its own currency — and the $100 bill in particular — has done so for years.”

And then there’s the argument that Bitcoin isn’t really anonymous in the first place. “If you catch a dealer with drugs and cash on the street, you’ve caught them committing one crime,” says Sarah Meiklejohn, a computer scientist at University College London. “But if you catch people using something like Silk Road, you’ve uncovered their whole criminal history. It’s like discovering their books.”

Silk Road, of course, was the Bitcoin-driven clearinghouse for illegal drugs and stolen credit cards (and other contraband) that law enforcement shuttered in 2014. Bitcoin – and Bitcoin-related crime – have only flourished since.

Bitcoin-centered ransomware is so popular among the criminal element, in fact, because it is dead simple. Any modestly skilled bad actor can simply download the software off the Dark Web, create a Bitcoin wallet, and send out phishing emails to find gullible targets. The number of such extortionists and the typically modest ransoms are usually sufficient to avoid law enforcement investigations – a gamble such criminals are obviously willing to make.

Is that Bitcoin in Your Wallet? Didn’t Think So

For the readers of this article who are law-abiding citizens, the cold reality is that there is little reason to get involved in Bitcoin in the first place. “Bitcoin transactions are not very useful in casual purchases, thus there has been little mainstream consumer adoption,” admits Mikko Ohtamaa, CTO of Gibraltar-based cybercurrency trader TokenMarket. “Bitcoin shines in anonymous online payments and most day-to-day and/or point-of-sale payments don’t require this level of anonymity or the complexity it brings along with it.”

The final question for law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who may be interested in speculating in Bitcoin: does the fact that the cybercurrency is primarily used for criminal purposes taint it for other uses, a la blood diamonds?

Such a question of morality is beyond the scope of this article, but important food for thought for anyone interested in using Bitcoin for legal purposes.

Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Zach Copley.

Jason Bloomberg is president of industry analyst firm Intellyx. Follow Jason Bloomberg on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2017/03/28/bitcoin-blood-diamonds-of-the-digital-era/

How To Hiberante Ubuntu? | Enable/Disable Hibernation | Show …

Short Bytes: In the Ubuntu Linux distro, the hibernation feature is disabled by default since the release of Ubuntu 12.04 on the machines which are not certified for Ubuntu. But the hibernation option is not gone forever. You can enable or disable the hibernation feature in Ubuntu 16.04 and its derivatives using the command line and text editors. It will also show up in the power menu.

Later versions, since 12.04, of the Ubuntu Linux distribution have the hibernation option disabled by default. One of the reasons is the lack of compatibility between Ubuntu and the computer hardware which is mostly dominated by Microsoft Windows. In fact, Windows itself doesn’t enable the hibernation option by default.

The process of hibernation in the case of Ubuntu involves copying what’s stored in the RAM and writing it to the swap partition before powering off the machine. This helps it retain the system state after it’s turned on. But it has been observed that hibernation option doesn’t work well. When the device is powered on, sometimes, all the open files and folders get lost. This has been a cause of my frustration many times. Similar is the case of the Suspend option.

Read More: 5 Ways To Use Calculator In Linux Command Line?

How to Hibernate Ubuntu 16.04?

Ubuntu Hibernation show

For all the needs, the command line is the ultimate destination. You can enable hibernation in Ubuntu by typing the following command in the terminal:

Note: Save your work before running this command.

Your machine will turn off automatically after the command execution finishes. Restarting the machine would bring you to the same state where you left, i.e. all the applications and files would be as it is. If this happens then the hibernation process has done its job. If not, your machine would look as if you’ve restarted it with all the open applications gone.

In case, your computer is taking excess time to hibernate, you need to interrupt the hibernation process and turn it off manually using the power button.

Now, the thing is that you would have to type the command every time you want to hibernate your Ubuntu system. However, there is a way to enable to hibernation option forever and also show it the power menu.

linux courses 340x296 square banner ad (1)

How to enable hibernation in Ubuntu 16.04 permanently?

To make the Ubuntu hibernation process permanent, you need to create a new file using a text editor on the command line:

The system requires root privileges to enable the hibernation option, hence, the command sudo should be added. You can use other text editors like vi, gedit, emacs, etc.

Now, copy and paste the following text to file (use the mouse, keyboard shortcuts won’t work):

[Re-enable hibernate by default in upower]
Identity=unix-user:*
Action=org.freedesktop.upower.hibernate
ResultActive=yes
[Re-enable hibernate by default in logind]
Identity=unix-user:*
Action=org.freedesktop.login1.hibernate;org.freedesktop.login1.handle-hibernate-key;org.freedesktop.login1;org.freedesktop.login1.hibernate-multiple-sessions;org.freedesktop.login1.hibernate-ignore-inhibit
ResultActive=yes

Press CTRL+O to save and CTRL+X to exit the nano editor.

Ubuntu Hibernation Enable

Now, logout of your system and then login again, you’ll start seeing a hibernate option along with the Shut Down and Suspend options.

Hibernation might not work

If you’re using a partition formatted with the btrfs file system, chances might be there that the hibernation won’t work on your system. You need to reformat and delete that partition.

The size of your swap partition should be as large as your RAM (if you have 2GB to 8GB physical RAM). In the case you have more, the swap file can go up to 4GB.

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between Fast Startup, Hybrid Sleep, Hibernate, Sleep, Shutdown

How to disable hibernation option in Ubuntu 16.04?

You can remove the hibernate option from the power menu any time you want. To do this, open the same file in the command line using a text editor:

Now, set ResultActive=no for both upower and logind.

Save the file using CTRL+O and leave the edit using CRTL+X.

Ubuntu Hibernation Disable

You won’t see the hibernate option after you logout and login again.

So, this was the method to turn on the hibernation feature on Ubuntu Linux distribution. Other than the regular Ubuntu release, it will work for Ubuntu flavors including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc. and derivates such as Linux Mint.

Did you find this helpful? Drop your thoughts and feedback.

Also Read: Latest Linux Distribution Releases (The Always Up-to-date List)

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Article source: https://fossbytes.com/enable-disable-hibernate-option-ubuntu-power-menu/

Bitcoin: ‘Blood Diamonds’ Of The Digital Era

Bitcoin has long been the transaction currency of choice for drug dealers and extortionists, but this month, the IRS has upped the game. Just as tax evasion finally took down Al Capone, now the IRS is looking for tax evaders and other tax cheats who have been using Bitcoin in an attempt to hide their tracks.

The IRS recently subpoenaed customer records from Coinbase, a leading Bitcoin exchange. However, the subpoena is but the latest skirmish in a years-long war against criminals who have been leveraging Bitcoin for a wide variety of nefarious purposes.

The specifics of the IRS subpoena, however, make one thing clear: the majority of Americans who trade in Bitcoin are likely breaking the law.

Coupled with Bitcoin’s popularity among ransomware extortionists and all manner of other cybercriminals, we must now face a chilling realization: the underlying value of Bitcoin really has little if nothing to do with its artificial scarcity or popularity as a medium of speculation.

On the contrary – the only reason Bitcoin has value to anyone is because of the underlying value as a medium of exchange for lawbreakers. If we could flip a switch and eliminate all illegal uses of Bitcoin, there would be nothing left of the cybercurrency.

Zach Copley

Bitcoin: Strength in Numbers

The ‘John Doe’ Summons

The most recent order from the IRS to Coinbase is a ‘John Doe’ summons, which means that the IRS isn’t naming any particular Coinbase customers, but is rather issuing a blanket request for information about a large number of individuals – even though the IRS may not have any suspicions about all of them.

In response, Coinbase says that while it has a policy of complying with all legal orders (of which this is one), it believes this one overreaches, and is thus fighting it in court. “Suffice to say, we feel the IRS’s subpoena is overly broad and incorrectly implies that all users of virtual currency are evading taxes,” writes Coinbase Cofounder and CEO Brian Armstrong in a blog post. “Asking for detailed transaction information on so many people, simply for using digital currency, is a violation of their privacy, and is not the best way for us to accomplish our mutual objective.

The IRS, however, is on firm ground with the John Doe summons. “The IRS uses John Doe summonses to obtain information about possible violations of internal revenue laws by individuals whose identities are unknown,” the agency says. “The IRS not only has a suspicion that the John Doe class includes U.S. taxpayers who are not complying with the law – it knows that the class in the past included such violators, and very likely includes others,” it continues.

Such noncompliance, in fact, may not always be intentional. It’s likely many Bitcoin enthusiasts are inadvertently running afoul of IRS’s guidance that Bitcoin is property, not currency. As a result, every Bitcoin interaction is potentially taxable individually, leading to a paperwork headache for active Bitcoin traders.

Be that as it may, the IRS has reason to suspect virtually all Bitcoin traders have fallen into this trap. According to the IRS, it “searched the MTRDB [Modernized Tax Return Database] for Form 8949 data for tax years 2013 through 2015.” Form 8949 is the one that Bitcoin traders must use to report their activity. “Those results reflect that in 2013, 807 individuals reported a transaction.” Furthermore, the number for 2014 is 893 and for 2015, it dropped to 802 individuals.

Given the number of US citizens to conducted at least one Bitcoin transaction in 2015 probably numbers in the tens or hundreds of thousands, 802 is a mere drop in the bucket. The IRS is quite justified in presuming, therefore, that the vast majority of American Bitcoin traders are breaking the law.

Rationalization to the Rescue?

Armstrong’s exhortation that the IRS summons implies that all users of virtual currency are evading taxes is thus an overstatement. More worrisome, however, is his opinion that taking a legal action to enforce tax law is a violation of privacy.

The blogosphere, in fact, is rife with related rationalizations. The most extreme Libertarian proponents of Bitcoin are against taxes and the IRS in general, and even for those individuals who allow for the necessity of taxation, many believe that they are justified in using Bitcoin to evade more onerous legal constraints like the ‘Bitcoin is property’ guidance.

Another fallacious line of reasoning: the IRS is overstepping because they’re looking for a needle in a haystack. “It amounts to nothing more than asking for large amounts of hay in the hope they might find a needle,” opines Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association, a trade group whose members include Coinbase as well as companies like , , and .

Such arguments, however, do not sway the IRS. “The IRS not only has a suspicion that the John Doe class includes U.S. taxpayers who are not complying with the law,” the agency says. “It knows that the class in the past included such violators, and very likely includes others.”

Charles Stross, popular author and blogger, summed up the situation nicely. “Bitcoin is pretty much designed for tax evasion,” he quips.

Tax Evasion Merely the Nail in Bitcoin’s Coffin

Running afoul of the IRS, however, is merely the focus of the latest news. The fact remains that Bitcoin is enormously popular for all manner of criminal enterprises, from illegal drug dealing to extortion cons.

The most popular con, in fact, is ransomware. The US Justice department reports that ransomware attacks quadrupled in 2016 to an average of 4,000 per day, with extortion amounts ballooning to $209 million for the first quarter of 2016 as compared to $24 million for all of 2015.

While there is broad agreement that most of today’s ransomware extortionists demand payment in Bitcoin, there remains disagreement as to whether Bitcoin is the primary cause of the rapid growth in ransomware attacks.

Is Bitcoin in fact tied to the growth of ransomware? “It’s helping. I think that’s definitely true,” says David Emm, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab. “The existence of effectively anonymised payment mechanisms definitely plays into the hands of cybercriminals.”

Maya Horowitz, Threat Intelligence Group Manager at Technologies agrees. “It makes it much easier to avoid law enforcement,” she says.

And while it’s true that Bitcoin is not fully anonymous, many criminals are simply using a Bitcoin-based money laundering operation known as a ‘mixing service.’ “If you want your money in one wallet but you don’t want anyone to be able to trace it back and know how you got it, then you take it though a mixing service – like money laundering – and then it all eventually gets back to you after being mixed with other money,” Horowitz says. “It’s pretty standard for Bitcoin.”

Cue the Rationalization Again

Once again, however, there are a number of voices seeking to diminish the connection between Bitcoin and ransomware – or criminal enterprise in general.

One argument: if it weren’t for Bitcoin, bad guys would simply use something else. “The reality is cybercriminals will always use what is available to them,” explains Greg Day, VP and CSO, EMEA at Palo Alto Networks. “In many ways they’re inherently lazy, so if Bitcoin wasn’t there they’d find a different process to channel funds through.”

Another argument: paper currency is just as bad, so why all the fuss about Bitcoin? “The U.S. government should find it awkward to regulate bitcoin on the grounds that it facilitates illegal transactions,” opines William J. Luther, Assistant Professor of Economics at Kenyon College and an adjunct scholar at the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank. “Its own currency — and the $100 bill in particular — has done so for years.”

And then there’s the argument that Bitcoin isn’t really anonymous in the first place. “If you catch a dealer with drugs and cash on the street, you’ve caught them committing one crime,” says Sarah Meiklejohn, a computer scientist at University College London. “But if you catch people using something like Silk Road, you’ve uncovered their whole criminal history. It’s like discovering their books.”

Silk Road, of course, was the Bitcoin-driven clearinghouse for illegal drugs and stolen credit cards (and other contraband) that law enforcement shuttered in 2014. Bitcoin – and Bitcoin-related crime – have only flourished since.

Bitcoin-centered ransomware is so popular among the criminal element, in fact, because it is dead simple. Any modestly skilled bad actor can simply download the software off the Dark Web, create a Bitcoin wallet, and send out phishing emails to find gullible targets. The number of such extortionists and the typically modest ransoms are usually sufficient to avoid law enforcement investigations – a gamble such criminals are obviously willing to make.

Is that Bitcoin in Your Wallet? Didn’t Think So

For the readers of this article who are law-abiding citizens, the cold reality is that there is little reason to get involved in Bitcoin in the first place. “Bitcoin transactions are not very useful in casual purchases, thus there has been little mainstream consumer adoption,” admits Mikko Ohtamaa, CTO of Gibraltar-based cybercurrency trader TokenMarket. “Bitcoin shines in anonymous online payments and most day-to-day and/or point-of-sale payments don’t require this level of anonymity or the complexity it brings along with it.”

The final question for law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who may be interested in speculating in Bitcoin: does the fact that the cybercurrency is primarily used for criminal purposes taint it for other uses, a la blood diamonds?

Such a question of morality is beyond the scope of this article, but important food for thought for anyone interested in using Bitcoin for legal purposes.

Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Zach Copley.

Jason Bloomberg is president of industry analyst firm Intellyx. Follow Jason Bloomberg on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2017/03/28/bitcoin-blood-diamonds-of-the-digital-era/

PyCharm 2017.1, MicroStrategy 10.7, Next.js 2.0, and Ubuntu 17.04 final beta released — SD Times news digest …

PyCharm 2017.1 released
JetBrains’ announced an update to its Python IDE, PyCharm. PyCharm 2017.1 features a faster debugger, enhanced Python and JavaScript unit testing as well as support for the six compatibility library.

With its improved Python unit test runners, developers can now run any test configurations with the IDE. The JavaScript unit testing has been improved with gutter icons to indicate whether tests pass and support Jest. Other features include zero-latency typing and support for Docker for Mac.

MicroStrategy 10.7 released
Enterprise software platform provider MicroStrategy has announced version 10.7 of its platform. The latest version features a new set of APIs to build custom connectors to data sources, integrations with Natural Language Generation providers Automated Insights and Native Science, and support for intelligent narratives.

“Enterprises need both horsepower and flexibility to deploy business intelligence and data analytics solutions at scale,” said Tim Lang, CTO of MicroStrategy Incorporated. “MicroStrategy 10.7 extends the types of technologies that can connect to the platform by giving our customers direct pathways to the data resources they need. With this greater level of accessibility, our customers can draw more value from their existing investments to improve productivity, customer engagement and operational efficiencies.”

Next.js 2.0 released
Next.js, an open-source framework for server-rendered React apps, has released Next.js 2.0 with new features and improvements like React automatic code splitting, a programmatic API, component CSS support and more.

Next.js also implemented Next News, a full server-rendered app for Hacker News that queries the data over Firebase and updates in realtime as new votes come in. Other improvements to this version include a smaller build, which aims to make the Next.js app smaller and more efficient, according to the team.

More features and examples on how Next.js is used can be found here.

Vulnerability uncovered in JSON encryption
A critical vulnerability has been uncovered in JSON encryption. Security researchers are suggesting people update to the latest version if they are using the following: go-jose, node-jose, jose2go, Nimbus JOSE+JWT or jose4 with ECDH-ES.

The vulnerability is called the RFC 7516, also known as the JSON Web Encryption Invalid Curve Attack. According to Adobe security expert Antonio Sanso, this can allow an attacker to recover the secret key of a party using JWE with Key Agreement with Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman Ephemeral Static, where the sender could extract receivers private keys.

The research was started and inspired by Quan Nguyen from Google and then refined by Antonio Sanso from Adobe.

Ubuntu 17.04 final beta released
The Ubuntu team announced the final beta version of the Ubuntu 17.04 desktop, server and cloud products. It’s codenamed “Zesty Zapus,” and Ubuntu has been introducing new features and fixing bugs throughout this cycle.

According to the Ubuntu team in a blog, “The beta release includes images from not only the Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, but also the Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu flavours.” And with this release, the team also introduced the Ubuntu Budgie to the family of Ubuntu community flavors.

About Christina Cardoza and Madison Moore

Article source: http://sdtimes.com/pycharm-2017-1-microstrategy-2017-1-next-js-2-0-ubuntu-17-04-final-beta-released-sd-times-news-digest-march-27-2017/

How To Hiberante Ubuntu? | Enable/Disable Hibernation | Show Hibernate Option In Power Menu

Short Bytes: In the Ubuntu Linux distro, the hibernation feature is disabled by default since the release of Ubuntu 12.04 on the machines which are not certified for Ubuntu. But the hibernation option is not gone forever. You can enable or disable the hibernation feature in Ubuntu 16.04 and its derivatives using the command line and text editors. It will also show up in the power menu.

Later versions, since 12.04, of the Ubuntu Linux distribution have the hibernation option disabled by default. One of the reasons is the lack of compatibility between Ubuntu and the computer hardware which is mostly dominated by Microsoft Windows. In fact, Windows itself doesn’t enable the hibernation option by default.

The process of hibernation in the case of Ubuntu involves copying what’s stored in the RAM and writing it to the swap partition before powering off the machine. This helps it retain the system state after it’s turned on. But it has been observed that hibernation option doesn’t work well. When the device is powered on, sometimes, all the open files and folders get lost. This has been a cause of my frustration many times. Similar is the case of the Suspend option.

Read More: 5 Ways To Use Calculator In Linux Command Line?

How to Hibernate Ubuntu 16.04?

Ubuntu Hibernation show

For all the needs, the command line is the ultimate destination. You can enable hibernation in Ubuntu by typing the following command in the terminal:

Note: Save your work before running this command.

Your machine will turn off automatically after the command execution finishes. Restarting the machine would bring you to the same state where you left, i.e. all the applications and files would be as it is. If this happens then the hibernation process has done its job. If not, your machine would look as if you’ve restarted it with all the open applications gone.

In case, your computer is taking excess time to hibernate, you need to interrupt the hibernation process and turn it off manually using the power button.

Now, the thing is that you would have to type the command every time you want to hibernate your Ubuntu system. However, there is a way to enable to hibernation option forever and also show it the power menu.

linux courses 340x296 square banner ad (1)

How to enable hibernation in Ubuntu 16.04 permanently?

To make the Ubuntu hibernation process permanent, you need to create a new file using a text editor on the command line:

The system requires root privileges to enable the hibernation option, hence, the command sudo should be added. You can use other text editors like vi, gedit, emacs, etc.

Now, copy and paste the following text to file (use the mouse, keyboard shortcuts won’t work):

[Re-enable hibernate by default in upower]
Identity=unix-user:*
Action=org.freedesktop.upower.hibernate
ResultActive=yes
[Re-enable hibernate by default in logind]
Identity=unix-user:*
Action=org.freedesktop.login1.hibernate;org.freedesktop.login1.handle-hibernate-key;org.freedesktop.login1;org.freedesktop.login1.hibernate-multiple-sessions;org.freedesktop.login1.hibernate-ignore-inhibit
ResultActive=yes

Press CTRL+O to save and CTRL+X to exit the nano editor.

Ubuntu Hibernation Enable

Now, logout of your system and then login again, you’ll start seeing a hibernate option along with the Shut Down and Suspend options.

Hibernation might not work

If you’re using a partition formatted with the btrfs file system, chances might be there that the hibernation won’t work on your system. You need to reformat and delete that partition.

The size of your swap partition should be as large as your RAM (if you have 2GB to 8GB physical RAM). In the case you have more, the swap file can go up to 4GB.

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between Fast Startup, Hybrid Sleep, Hibernate, Sleep, Shutdown

How to disable hibernation option in Ubuntu 16.04?

You can remove the hibernate option from the power menu any time you want. To do this, open the same file in the command line using a text editor:

Now, set ResultActive=no for both upower and logind.

Save the file using CTRL+O and leave the edit using CRTL+X.

Ubuntu Hibernation Disable

You won’t see the hibernate option after you logout and login again.

So, this was the method to turn on the hibernation feature on Ubuntu Linux distribution. Other than the regular Ubuntu release, it will work for Ubuntu flavors including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc. and derivates such as Linux Mint.

Did you find this helpful? Drop your thoughts and feedback.

Also Read: Latest Linux Distribution Releases (The Always Up-to-date List)

Article source: https://fossbytes.com/enable-disable-hibernate-option-ubuntu-power-menu/

Is Bitcoin A Safe Way To Transact Money?

MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images

Is bitcoin a safe means to transact money? originally appeared on Quorathe place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Mark Gould, COO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, on Quora:

Let me first say that I’m speaking as myself and not on behalf of the Federal Reserve System. Also, that my expertise is in the world of physical cash, so I’m not an expert in bitcoin.

There are a variety of ways to think about the relative safety of different means of payment. When you use a credit or debit card, for example, there are laws and regulations that specify the rights and responsibilities of each party to the transaction. So, if someone gets your credit card information and uses it fraudulently, your liability is limited by the legal framework of the transaction. Your bank accounts are protected by deposit insurance. And you have options for recourse if you don’t receive the goods or services in return for many types of payment.

Bitcoin was designed to operate independently of any regulatory structure to facilitate anonymous transactions both locally and across international borders. These features make it attractive to some people for certain types of payment, particularly international exchanges. At the same time, because it operates outside the mainstream payments’ legal and regulatory structure, transactions made using bitcoin do not have the same consumer protections that are built into many other types of payments.

When considering the safety of any payment, I think it’s important for consumers to understand the rules that govern that payment to avoid disappointment if something goes wrong. I think there is sometimes a tendency to focus on the convenience of certain payments types, without fully considering the issues, risks, and alternatives to any particular type of payment.

This question originally appeared on Quora. – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/03/27/is-bitcoin-a-safe-way-to-transact-money/

Bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies amid …

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It’s been a volatile period for bitcoin investors, as holders of the cryptocurrency prepare for a potential ‘fork’ in the blockchain.

From Friday morning until Monday afternoon, bitcoin was trading under the $1,000 level, and even fell beneath $900 on Saturday. This is significant as, barring the weekend of March 18 and 19, bitcoin has traded above $1,000 since early February and hit a fresh all-time high of around $1,325 on March 10.

Bitcoin is currently back above the $1,000 handle, but is well off these recent highs, wiping billions off of its market cap value.

A stack of bitcoins stand on top of U.S. one dollar bills.

There are several causes for the recent volatility: Chinese regulators cracked down on bitcoin exchanges, while U.S. authorities rejected a proposal for a bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF). The current concern is over the future of the bitcoin technology.

Bitcoin faces a scaling issue, where the number of bitcoin transactions that can happen on the blockchain at any one time is limited. This is creating a backlog of transactions that are needed to be processed and slowing down the system.

A group called Bitcoin Unlimited advocates for increasing the size of the blocks on the blockchain in order to process more transactions, but this has split the community. To increase the block size would involve splitting the blockchain, causing a fork and creating two major blockchains. This would effectively create two different coins and it’s not clear which would become dominant.

As a result, investors are hedging their bets or selling out of bitcoin, waiting to see whether or not the fork will happen, and if so, which blockchain will be favored by the market.

Data from Bitfinex indicates around 49 million more coins have been sold than bought, or roughly 5 percent of total coins traded, in the last 30 days. Through March, the number of long bitcoin positions held by investors has decreased from 26,858 to above 23,142, while the number of short positions has increased from 9,820 to 14,731.

Meanwhile, the market cap of blockchain assets other than bitcoin, such as ether, dash and monero, has more than doubled since March 10 from $3.5 billion to more than $7 billion, according to Chris Burniske, blockchain products lead analyst at ARK Invest.

“At the same time, bitcoin’s market cap has gone from $19 billion to $16 billion. Hence, bitcoin’s market cap has lost $3 billion in value while the combined market cap of all other blockchain assets has added more than $3 billion,” he told CNBC via email.

“Given these market indicators, it would appear investors are diversifying their blockchain asset holdings, positioning themselves for a generally rising tide in this emerging asset class.”

Whether or not the fork happens is hard to tell, but it may harm bitcoin’s brand, according to Jani Valjavec, co-founder of ICONOMI, a digital asset management platform for cryptocurrencies. Valjavec argues the brand is the main thing behind bitcoin’s value.

“It has wide acceptance now, real world use cases, it can be a great store of value, and it is currently trusted by the community. Our understanding is that a hard fork, instigated by two parties with very competing interests, will primarily weaken the brand,” he told CNBC via email.

“The next biggest brand in the distributed economy is ethereum, and that’s why we believe it will benefit the most.”

However, Fran Strajnar, co-founder CEO of data and research company Brave New Coin, says the market is still within the parameters of a bitcoin bull cycle.

“The proposed contentious fork is unlikely but better to happen now than in the distant future. We would end up with the original bitcoin and remaining miners activating segwit (a well-designed package of system upgrades) and a new, much smaller, privatized alternative version of bitcoin,” he told CNBC via email.

“The sum result of all the network fork (fear, uncertainty and doubt) is we are seeing investors hedge by buying into ether. We expect a price drop if there is a fork but a similar outcome to ethereum, where the long term market capitalization increases for both assets.”

Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.Online

Radix, the portfolio registry behind 9+ popular new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), announced the sale of casino.online to an anonymous buyer for $ 201,250 in an all-cash deal. The sale came through Sedo, the world’s largest domain marketplace and monetization provider. At $201,250, this is the highest price paid for a single domain in a new gTLD, thus exceeding any previous domain name sale amongst all the other new domain extensions. Launched in August 2015, .online has some popular websites to its credit such as www.tnw.online, www.lending.online, www.africa.online, www.geeks.online, www.sportwetten.online amongst others. [casinoonline] is the 4th most expensive keyword in the UK. Thus, owning an exact-match keyword like casino will give a marketing edge and create brand recognition to any company operating in that space.

While there have been instances of a premium new TLDs being sold for a deal value of 100k+ through partnerships between the registry and client, this is a sale where an all cash payment has been paid upfront at the time of acquiring the domain. For Radix, this is a valuable business milestone. Speaking about the sale, Sandeep Ramchandani, VP — Business Head, Radix, said, “This sale validates the global potential of our gTLDs owing to their top-notch quality and usability. As brands increasingly choose new domain extensions for innovative branding of their web address, the valuation of new gTLDs is going higher with each passing year.”

Sedo, the leading domain trading platform through which casino.online was sold, said that the sale supports the trend of top sales and higher prices for quality new TLD names, a market that is challenging to gain the general public’s understanding and adoption. Tobias Flaitz, CEO, Sedo, added, “We believe five and even six-figure sales in this category should continue to be on the rise as Sedo supports Registries with a full suite of marketing and sales activities; helping to grow awareness for premium domains.”

Radix owns various gTLDs such as .tech, .website, .store, .space and .fun; which is currently in the Sunrise phase. Specific brand-TLDs or TLDs for a niche vertical have a limited market, but generic domain names such as .online or .website have much wider usability, thus indicating that not all gTLDs are made equal. On the other hand, TLDs such as .tech and .store have seen massive organic adoption owing to their direct relevance to technology and e-commerce sectors respectively.

* * *

.ONLINE Performance Stats

No. 1 in awareness: .ONLINE ranks No. 1 in customer awareness in Europe and countries like Germany, France and Poland vs. all other new domains (based on a survey conducted by ICANN). .ONLINE is No. 3 in awareness globally.

No. 1 in usage:

  • .ONLINE has the most number of domains in the global Alexa 1 million most visited sites in the world vs. all other new domains
  • .ONLINE also has the highest number of sites that are SSL enabled vs. every other new domain out there

Fastest growing: .ONLINE has been consistently amongst the fastest growing new domains and is the 8th largest new domain with 660,000+ domains registered

Common keyword: Over 45,000 domains registered in 2016 end in the word ‘online’ which shows customers intuitively chose online

About Radix – Radix (Radix FZC) is a portfolio Registry for new domain extensions and has secured uncontested registry rights to .website, .press, .host, .space, .site, .tech, .online and .store. Radix is Asia’s largest new gTLD applicant, playing a substantial role in the global diversification of the Internet namespace. Learn More

Related topics: Domain Names, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains

Article source: http://www.circleid.com/posts/20170327_radix_announces_largest_new_gtld_sale_with_casinoonline/

PyCharm 2017.1, MicroStrategy 2017.1, Next.js 2.0, and Ubuntu 17.04 final beta released — SD Times news digest …

PyCharm 2017.1 released
JetBrains’ announced an update to its Python IDE, PyCharm. PyCharm 2017.1 features a faster debugger, enhanced Python and JavaScript unit testing as well as support for the six compatibility library.

With its improved Python unit test runners, developers can now run any test configurations with the IDE. The JavaScript unit testing has been improved with gutter icons to indicate whether tests pass and support Jest. Other features include zero-latency typing and support for Docker for Mac.

MicroStrategy 10.7 released
Enterprise software platform provider MicroStrategy has announced version 10.7 of its platform. The latest version features a new set of APIs to build custom connectors to data sources, integrations with Natural Language Generation providers Automated Insights and Native Science, and support for intelligent narratives.

“Enterprises need both horsepower and flexibility to deploy business intelligence and data analytics solutions at scale,” said Tim Lang, CTO of MicroStrategy Incorporated. “MicroStrategy 10.7 extends the types of technologies that can connect to the platform by giving our customers direct pathways to the data resources they need. With this greater level of accessibility, our customers can draw more value from their existing investments to improve productivity, customer engagement and operational efficiencies.”

Next.js 2.0 released
Next.js, an open-source framework for server-rendered React apps, has released Next.js 2.0 with new features and improvements like React automatic code splitting, a programmatic API, component CSS support and more.

Next.js also implemented Next News, a full server-rendered app for Hacker News that queries the data over Firebase and updates in realtime as new votes come in. Other improvements to this version include a smaller build, which aims to make the Next.js app smaller and more efficient, according to the team.

More features and examples on how Next.js is used can be found here.

Vulnerability uncovered in JSON encryption
A critical vulnerability has been uncovered in JSON encryption. Security researchers are suggesting people update to the latest version if they are using the following: go-jose, node-jose, jose2go, Nimbus JOSE+JWT or jose4 with ECDH-ES.

The vulnerability is called the RFC 7516, also known as the JSON Web Encryption Invalid Curve Attack. According to Adobe security expert Antonio Sanso, this can allow an attacker to recover the secret key of a party using JWE with Key Agreement with Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman Ephemeral Static, where the sender could extract receivers private keys.

The research was started and inspired by Quan Nguyen from Google and then refined by Antonio Sanso from Adobe.

Ubuntu 17.04 final beta released
The Ubuntu team announced the final beta version of the Ubuntu 17.04 desktop, server and cloud products. It’s codenamed “Zesty Zapus,” and Ubuntu has been introducing new features and fixing bugs throughout this cycle.

According to the Ubuntu team in a blog, “The beta release includes images from not only the Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, but also the Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu flavours.” And with this release, the team also introduced the Ubuntu Budgie to the family of Ubuntu community flavors.

About Christina Cardoza and Madison Moore

Article source: http://sdtimes.com/pycharm-2017-1-microstrategy-2017-1-next-js-2-0-ubuntu-17-04-final-beta-released-sd-times-news-digest-march-27-2017/

Bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies amid uncertain future

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It’s been a volatile period for bitcoin investors, as holders of the cryptocurrency prepare for a potential ‘fork’ in the blockchain.

From Friday morning until Monday afternoon, bitcoin was trading under the $1,000 level, and even fell beneath $900 on Saturday. This is significant as, barring the weekend of March 18 and 19, bitcoin has traded above $1,000 since early February and hit a fresh all-time high of around $1,325 on March 10.

Bitcoin is currently back above the $1,000 handle, but is well off these recent highs, wiping billions off of its market cap value.

A stack of bitcoins stand on top of U.S. one dollar bills.

There are several causes for the recent volatility: Chinese regulators cracked down on bitcoin exchanges, while U.S. authorities rejected a proposal for a bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF). The current concern is over the future of the bitcoin technology.

Bitcoin faces a scaling issue, where the number of bitcoin transactions that can happen on the blockchain at any one time is limited. This is creating a backlog of transactions that are needed to be processed and slowing down the system.

A group called Bitcoin Unlimited advocates for increasing the size of the blocks on the blockchain in order to process more transactions, but this has split the community. To increase the block size would involve splitting the blockchain, causing a fork and creating two major blockchains. This would effectively create two different coins and it’s not clear which would become dominant.

As a result, investors are hedging their bets or selling out of bitcoin, waiting to see whether or not the fork will happen, and if so, which blockchain will be favored by the market.

Data from Bitfinex indicates around 49 million more coins have been sold than bought, or roughly 5 percent of total coins traded, in the last 30 days. Through March, the number of long bitcoin positions held by investors has decreased from 26,858 to above 23,142, while the number of short positions has increased from 9,820 to 14,731.

Meanwhile, the market cap of blockchain assets other than bitcoin, such as ether, dash and monero, has more than doubled since March 10 from $3.5 billion to more than $7 billion, according to Chris Burniske, blockchain products lead analyst at ARK Invest.

“At the same time, bitcoin’s market cap has gone from $19 billion to $16 billion. Hence, bitcoin’s market cap has lost $3 billion in value while the combined market cap of all other blockchain assets has added more than $3 billion,” he told CNBC via email.

“Given these market indicators, it would appear investors are diversifying their blockchain asset holdings, positioning themselves for a generally rising tide in this emerging asset class.”

Whether or not the fork happens is hard to tell, but it may harm bitcoin’s brand, according to Jani Valjavec, co-founder of ICONOMI, a digital asset management platform for cryptocurrencies. Valjavec argues the brand is the main thing behind bitcoin’s value.

“It has wide acceptance now, real world use cases, it can be a great store of value, and it is currently trusted by the community. Our understanding is that a hard fork, instigated by two parties with very competing interests, will primarily weaken the brand,” he told CNBC via email.

“The next biggest brand in the distributed economy is ethereum, and that’s why we believe it will benefit the most.”

However, Fran Strajnar, co-founder CEO of data and research company Brave New Coin, says the market is still within the parameters of a bitcoin bull cycle.

“The proposed contentious fork is unlikely but better to happen now than in the distant future. We would end up with the original bitcoin and remaining miners activating segwit (a well-designed package of system upgrades) and a new, much smaller, privatized alternative version of bitcoin,” he told CNBC via email.

“The sum result of all the network fork (fear, uncertainty and doubt) is we are seeing investors hedge by buying into ether. We expect a price drop if there is a fork but a similar outcome to ethereum, where the long term market capitalization increases for both assets.”

Has Ubuntu Linux become boring?

TheSolidState: “How do I pick a broswer? FOSS is a big priority, so it has to be firefox or chromium or probably lots of smaller ones. As is privacy, so it can’t be anything from Google, or with stories about phoning home to Google or binary blobs from Google. And I find it helps if it’s popular to have good plug-in/add-on supoprt. So firefox.”

Dfldashgkv: “Being packaged for major distros with security updates is also a major plus.”

Idas_Hund: “If you care about privacy you shouldn’t use Chromium as it calls home all the time (Yes, even Chromium). You should check out Inox and Iridium for Chromium-based and Google free web browsers.”

Jflesch: “1) By principles : I will never trust a browser that is not open-source. Browsers have become far too important in our everyday lives to be trusted when closed-source.

2) By features and correct support.

3) At this point, in my opinion, it leaves only Firefox and Chromium. However Chromium is mostly a Google project, a company. And as any other companies, their goal is first to make money (and when it’s free, you’re the product). Whereas Firefox is developed by the Mozilla foundation, which I trust a lot more.

Also, I use a Firefox extension that, afaik, simply cannot exist in Chromium. I believe it is because of restrictions to add-ons that Chromium places on its GUI.”

Thgntlmnfrmtrlfmdr: “Firefox is by far the best, especially if you care at all about privacy. It’s really not even close.”

Adevland: “It’s a process of elimination, really.

Eliminate all those that suck for you for various reasons, and what is left is the best for you.”

TingPing: “There are effectively 3 browser ‘engines’ on Linux at this point. Chromium (blink), Webkit, and Firefox (gecko). Chromium is the most popular, generally the most performant, the most secure (it sandboxes its processes), most actively developed, etc.

Most of the new browsers use Chromium as a base for mentioned reasons. Firefox is still interesting for political reasons but is still making progress. Other than Firefox forks nobody bases off of it afaik. Webkit is stuck in between and probably the least interesting of them. I believe Epiphany is the only browser on Linux using a maintained release of Webkit (though QtWebkit is being revived).

There are so few engines because they are massive and complex projects that require lots of work. Now why do a ton of browsers based on them exist? Probably because people are very opinionated and for a few maybe there is money in it.”

Dnshane: “With Firefox finally migrating to process separation (running web content in a different OS process than the browser itself) and moving development from C++ to Rust, I think Firefox will probably be the most secure browser going forward. They are also taking add-in security very seriously, moving to a model requiring developers to sign their add-ins (it’s a tricky problem space, but basically I think Mozilla is doing the right thing there).”

PQtran: “I was also a long time user of Firefox, mostly because I grew up with it. I found that performance was an important criteria for me as a user so I started using chromium more. Now I value both performance and the ability to customize your browser experience and so I primarily use Vivaldi.”

More at Reddit

Article source: http://www.infoworld.com/article/3184938/linux/has-ubuntu-linux-become-boring.html